Short Research Communication
1. Department of Biochemistry and State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China.
2. Laboratory of Biosensing Technology, School of Life Sciences, Shanghai University, Shanghai, China.
This paper reports a sensitive method with electrochemical technique to detect various proteases, which can be used for the diagnosis of prostate cancer. For the proposed assay method, the working electrode is modified with the peptide probes for the target proteases. These probes contain the substrate sequence of target proteases, as well as the seed peptide sequence that can accelerate the misfolding of amyloid-beta. If there are proteases in the test solution, after protease cleavage of the substrate peptides, the distal seed peptide will be removed from the electrode surface. So, in the absence of proteases, the seed peptides can initiate and accelerate amyloid-beta misfolding on the electrode surface. Consequently, the formed aggregates strongly block the electron transfer of the in-solution electroactive species with the electrode, resulting in suppressed signal readout. Nevertheless, in the presence of proteases, enzyme cleavage may lead to greatly mitigated protein misfolding and evident signal enhancement. Since the contrast in signal readout between the two cases can be amplified by using the protein misfolding step, high sensitivity suitable for direct detection of proteases in serum can be achieved. These results may suggest the feasibility of our new method for the detection of a panel of proteases in offering detailed diagnosis of prostate cancer and a better treatment of the cancer.
Keywords: prostate cancer, biomarker, protease, amyloid misfolding, electrochemical detection.